# 274: Becoming Dance
Story behind the Passage
Last night, I listened to music till very late. As often happens, I ended up listening to African and Arab music. And then, I also got into the “Jerusalema” song and the story behind it. The song is so powerful but it can hardly be imagined without the dance challenge that went along with it. I learned how Master KG recorded it in his studio with Nomcebo and how both got goose bumps. As with any story, we do not know if it happened exactly this way. But I want to believe it because, after all, many stories are still true, even in the digital world of infinite replication and fake news.
Part of the story is also that KG makes music to empower the African people and he ended up empowering people around he world — from Rio to Beijing, from Johannesburg to Helsinki and beyond. With music and images that travel around the world within the blink of an eye, this kind of viral empowerment is easily possible. I hope that reality will follow too. I mean, I hope that the African people and other nations whose populations have been oppressed by many other nations will soon show their true power to the world. At least when I watch African people dance, it endows me with power.
Actually, in this world where every word needs to be gendered or somehow put into some political correct terminology, I wonder if you can still say that you love wtching “African people” dance? Or is that racist and discriminating? Even if it is, I do not care, as you can very well imagine. For me, Africa always felt like “home” and so did the desert and some Maghreb countries in the north of Africa. When I traveled here, I felt free. And I should not be writing this in past tense because I will certainly go there again.
When thinking of Africa, I do think of music and dance in the same vein. The two are indistinguishable. But that is not because I danced a lot there. It is rather, I think, that the feelings of freedom, peace, and emotional detachment from any self-imposed chains go along with Africa for me. This is something that you cannot plan strategically, I guess. It is completely unrational, it cannot be explained or analyzed by anyone. And, to make this very clear, I would give a shit about such an analysis. It is such a wonderful thing to feel the place where you feel best that I would never disturb this by some kind of rational brainfuck talk.
These thoughts about “Jerusalema” also made me pull out the book Sacred Woman, Sacred Dance today. I bought it for my master’s thesis which was about Arab American women and dance. I developed a model of how you can interpret literature based on spiritual dance movements. Yes, it sounds like sophisticated brainfuck too but I enjoyed it very much. Since in our field, we cannot dance to finish an academic degree, that was as creative as it could get for me in this phase. Above all, I have never been a big dancer myself, not in the conventional disco way. Maybe it will one day become part of my spiritual life, I do not know. At least, this is what the passage talks about.
“Dance will be the very link to connect us to that life force and to our heritage.” Some people might only think of dance as a sport or something that you do to forget everything else. If you study dance and spirituality, you will learn how important dance is for connecting you to the forces of nature, to nature itself. This is what this sentence basically states. By moving in dance, “becoming dance,” you connect the energy in your body with the energy of life. This is an incredible feeling and it is better than taking drugs. Above all, spirituality is the one and only drug of life that allows you to grasp infinite happiness. Unfortunately, many people never experience this.
Is it because they are not dancing?
I do think that life is a dance. This might be something that already occurred to me when I wrote about this topic back then in university. Anything in life follows certain patterns and movements that repeat themselves. What you do is, you let this flow happen, you give your body and soul to it. It does not matter what follows what — you following the movement or your movement following the force of nature. You move with this natural energy and that makes you feel this connection with earth. That is the one and only precondition to really feeling happy, whole, and liberated in this encompassing sense.
“As women, let us try to imagine what it must have been like to have our own sense of spirituality.” Well, this book is particularly about women and sacred dance. So, of course, this is what this sentence alludes to. Still, there are two things which I need to mention in this context. One is, of course, that women in any denomination play a powerful role for the connection between man(kind) and earth. They are the ones who have a special energy which they spread. They can connect to the forces of nature in a way that man cannot. At least, this is what you will find when reading about sacred dances, be it in Buddhism, Ancient Egypt, or other spiritual directions.
The other thing I want to mention is that dance and spirituality stand for union with the forces of nature and ultimately also for non-dualism. This also means that this dichotomy of man/woman to a certain extent is a wrong one if you look at it from the conventional “Western” perspective. We all have male and female energy within ourselves and for me, the biggest challenge has always been to balance the two. My success in this respect is still limited when it comes to finding long-term practical solutions. But as far as the power of being is concerned, my life only really started when I let both energies connect and stopped resisting the forces of nature.
Again, I have to think of “Jerusalema” in conclusion. When watching the people dance, particularly the African people in the villages in South Africa and other African nations, I follow their movements and the flow of their energy unfolding. I see how they move together and just by watching I can see that energy move through them. That energy is a bond between people, even connecting me with the people I am watching. I cannot force people to go to Africa and dance. But I wish some more will start seeing what is in front of their own door: nature and the deep connection you can form with it. Africa is a door opener for this.
Just start dancing…
1) What do you associate with “being dance”?
2) Do you think that men and women have different energy levels? Why?
3) If someone gave you a trip to Africa as a gift, which country would you go to?